Dr. Laura Rusche, Biological Sciences
Dr. Laura Rusche completed her Ph.D. degree in the biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology graduate program at John Hopkins School of Medicine. She then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley; later she accepted a job at Duke as a professor in the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy. Currently an associate professor at University of Buffalo, research in the Rusche lab focuses on chromatin and its impact on gene expression, genome stability, and chromosome function. In particular, they study Sir2 proteins (sirtuins), which deacetylate histones to repress transcription. Because sirtuins require NAD+ for activity, they are proposed to link the processes they regulate with nutrient availability. Dr. Rusche’s lab investigates how the functions of yeast sirtuins have shifted over the course of evolution to enable species to develop distinct responses to nutrient stress. Researchers in the Rusche lab employ yeasts as model organisms, taking advantage of the powerful classical genetic and contemporary comparative genomic approaches available in these species.